Welcome to part three of OCTV’s mid-year wrap up, where Nicole and SB go over what they’ve been watching all year and take a step back to look at the seasons (or the seasons so far) as a whole. If you missed part one, you can find it here, and part two is here. Gifs are generously rounded up by hockeybychoice, and as always, Nicole’s thoughts are in purple and SB’s are in blue. Enjoy and be sure to comment!
I … can’t exactly decide how I feel about Modern Family. I do really like it, and I almost always think it’s really funny. I care about the characters and I look forward to watching it, and I find it relateable and likeable, and it doesn’t really feel like a show that you should be able to find much about to criticize, but I still can’t bring myself to say that I love it without any sort of qualifications, the first being … goddamn, do I hate Manny! He is THE WORST. The good news is that I actually really like everyone else.
The second is that I feel like as this show goes on, it goes deeper and deeper into “sitcommy” territory. There’s always some sort of mix up or misunderstanding or “wacky hijinks” that make it feel like a screwball comedy, which is not normally my favorite thing. And this was starting to drive me a little insane, but I kind of learned to stop thinking about it and just enjoy the show, because, like I said, I do enjoy the characters and one-liners so much that it just really isn’t worth getting worked up over.
Man, that sounds like more of a downer than I meant it to, and I don’t want to end on that, so let me finish by saying that I’ve enjoyed this season a lot more than the last, and I LOVED the whole wireless printer gag, Phil and Luke continue to be hilarious, and Gloria ALWAYS cracks me up … but of course, my favorite character is Stella.
I have mixed feelings about the show too, and I try to adopt the same attitude as SB when I watch it because I do like most of the characters and there are some great jokes in every episode. But a lot of the times, the jokes feel like we’ve seen them before, you know? Gloria is hilarious and her accent can be used to great effect, but it loses its impact when every episode features a joke (or five) about her wacky mispronunciations.
You can practically predict the basic elements of every episode: Claire will be frazzled and annoyed with her family; Mitchell will be embarrassed by something that Cam does and will be kind of a dick about it; Phil will fall down; Jay will curmudgeonly complain about Manny and one of his fucking annoying quirks (valid). The only thing that seems to change from week to week is the ‘wacky setup’ that SB talked about, the situation that is basically contrived just to highlight same beats over and over again.
The show really works best for me when the show mixes up the characters in ways that we don’t see very often, because it forces the dynamic of the entire show to adapt and vary from the norm. Don’t get me wrong – those elements that they go back to over and over again are funny (well, except for Manny – as SB has already said, he is the worst) – it’s just that I’d like the show to find more ways to make us laugh or it’s going to start to get old. Take Luke – his character evolved from the hilarious dumb kid to the secret genius of the family. He’s still awesome, just in a new and different way. If the show can figure out a way to make the characters seem as well thought out as the jokes, they’d be on fire.